Tempo Move review: Interactive at-home fitness savant

A man working out using the tempo move system.

“The Tempo Move delivers compact storage, an excellent app, and plenty of workouts to target every part of your body.”

Pros

  • Excellent equipment storage
  • Intuitive app
  • Responsive A.I. and reactive fitness tracking
  • Support for up to six users under one Tempo household
  • Competitively priced versus comparable options

Cons

  • No Android support
  • No live classes (currently)
  • App can be finicky sometimes

The last several years have been incredible for the world of at-home fitness gear. Now more than ever, we’re buying treadmills, stationary bikes, and other interactive fitness tools that take full advantage of the current state of the smart home. Through apps and touchscreens, we can track everything from calories burned to workout goals for the day, week, month, and year.

While a number of these at-home exercise devices tout impressive features, many also flaunt top-dollar prices. Yes, we all want the luxury of being able to stay fit right from our living room, but not all of us can spare the thousands of dollars required to do so. That’s where hardware like the Tempo Move comes in.

From the creative workout minds that brought us the incredible mirror-mounted Tempo Studio, the Tempo Move is the company’s newest tech. Designed for budget shoppers and utilizing our iPhones instead of a dedicated touchscreen, does the company’s latest addition to its impressive fitness lineup make the grade? Read on to see what we thought after using the Tempo Move for a number of weeks.

Out of the box

The tempo move's cabinet with included weights, dumbbells, and tempo core.

First impressions are important, and the Tempo Move is built to impress the moment you unbox the equipment. For starters, we don’t think we’ve ever seen a fitness company put so much thought into gear storage — let alone hardware — that costs as little as the Move package (currently sells for $395).

Weights, dumbbells, and the Tempo Core module are all designed to be placed inside a stowaway cabinet that measures 22 inches tall, 13.5 inches wide, and 13.5 inches deep. Cabinet color options include light blond and maroon wood finishes.

A magnetized mesh cover pulls back to reveal two shelves of weight-plate storage. Up top, wooden inserts can cleverly be removed for weight, resistance band, and cable storage. There’s also a hinged compartment that you can insert the dumbbells into. Weight plates range from 1.25 to 5-pound increments and the included dumbbells are 7.5 pounds each.

A center cutout can be removed to place the Tempo Core atop the cabinet, although you can always place the module right near your TV if you have the space. The Core itself comes packaged with an HDMI/USB-A combo cable.

The top of the tempo move cabinet.

Apartment dwellers, you’re in luck. The Tempo Move is the perfect at-home setup for space-deprived living. Better yet, if you don’t have the real estate in the TV room to keep everything, you can always store the cabinet in another part of your home. When it comes time to work out, just go and grab the Tempo Core, along with whatever weights you’ll need for the day.

Initial setup

Getting the Tempo Move up and running is a fairly straightforward process. To get things started, the first thing you’ll want to do is create a Tempo account. You can do this by going to members.tempo.fit/register. On the webpage, you’ll be tasked with registering the equipment and inputting a payment method. While the first 30 days of your Tempo membership are free, you’ll be spending $40 per month after the trial period — a price about on-par with competitive workout subscriptions from companies like Peloton.

Adjacent to the Move’s impressive A.I. skills is the amazingly interactive Tempo app.

Next, grab your iPhone and download the Tempo app from the App Store (you can also scan the QR code on the quick start guide sheet in the box). Once you launch the app, you’ll scan the bottom of your Tempo Core to pair up your membership. The first few screens are all about gathering data about what kind of person you are (height, weight, exercise experience) and what kinds of goals you’re looking to set (weight loss, building muscle, etc.).

Next, on to the Tempo Core, the actual A/V module and iPhone dock station that is your essential A-to-B from your Tempo hardware to your TV.

The tempo core's standby screen.

In the box, you’ll find an HDMI/USB-A cable. Plug the HDMI portion into any free port on your TV and the USB-A into a free USB port on your TV. In the event that your TV’s USB is already in use, you can use a dedicated USB power brick instead.

The last step is docking your iPhone. Because the Tempo Move utilizes the iPhone’s True Depth Sensor for motion tracking, you’ll need an iPhone XS/XR or anything up to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Speaking of mobile hardware: Sorry Android users. As of right now, the Tempo Move is for iOS devices only.

During setup, we actually had some trouble getting our iPhone 12 to handshake with the Tempo Core. We followed a few troubleshooting tips, including HDMI and USB-A unplugging and re-plugging, but to no avail. After restarting the phone though, everything linked up correctly. Ah, tech.

Features

The major tech behind the Tempo Move is 3D Tempo Vision, an A.I. learning system that tracks your workout style, keeping long-term tabs on everything from form to reps. Over time, the system becomes smart enough to know your workout style, which allows it to do things like recommend weight sizes.

As you replicate what your instructor is doing, the exact exercise you’re doing is displayed in the top-left portion of the TV screen with rep-time remaining in the top-right corner. Actual reps, pace, and heart rate (which requires a compatible wearable) are tracked at the bottom of the screen.

With the higher-priced Tempo Studio, 3D Tempo Vision is built directly into the touchscreen mirror. As far as the Move goes, 3D Tempo Vision forms an alliance with your iPhone’s various motion-tracking capabilities via your device’s True Depth Sensor.

Adjacent to the Move’s impressive A.I. skills is the amazingly interactive Tempo app. At launch, the Home tab shows you how many classes you’ve completed on the current date, complete with how many calories you burned and leaderboard stats (if you’re interested). Here you can also see what workouts you’ve completed through the entire week.

Under the Classes tab, you’ll find quite the spread of workout tools, including thousands of classes encompassing everything from high-intensity interval training (HIIT), stretching, yoga, strength, cardio, and more. Currently, the Tempo Move doesn’t offer live classes, but we’re betting these will be included sometime soon.

A range of screens in the tempo app.

In the Programs tab, you can choose from a medley of Tempo-curated workout regimens for everything from losing weight to improving definition. For those in need of a recommendation, a separate For You sub-tab suggests regimens based on whatever workout experience you inputted during registration.

Then there’s the Profile tab. Here you’ll be able to see how many workouts you’ve completed, calories burned, and total volume. Date ranges include a week, the past 30 days, and all time. Selecting the gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen allows you to adjust notification settings, change your password, invite up to five family members to your Tempo membership, and more.

Workout experience

Now it’s time to hit the mat. We positioned our Tempo Core on top of our TV stand, slightly in front of the TV. After docking our phone, one of the first things we were prompted to do was to set up our workout mat. Ideally, you’ll want this about five feet back from your TV stand. During setup and throughout your interactive workouts, a mat indicator will appear at the bottom of the screen, letting you know if you’re properly located in your workout area.

We got things started with a 20 Minute Low Impact Cardio training, for your humble reviewer is not so skilled in the art of exercise. The onscreen trainer was energetic and encouraging, but incredibly talkative. Like, a bit too talkative. Not a huge deal though — gotta pump us up!

As you replicate your instructor’s movements, the exact exercise you’re doing is displayed in the top-left portion of the TV screen with rep-time remaining in the top-right corner. Actual reps, pace, and heart rate are tracked at the bottom of the screen. And hey, it works! Sometimes the small things really count when it comes to consumer tech, and watching the rep counter increase with every pathetic squat I performed confirmed that my iPhone was playing nicely with the Tempo hardware.

The leaderboard is displayed along the right side of the screen. Other people’s successes scared me though, so I hid this real-time chart (you can do so by going selecting Leaderboard on your iPhone and choosing the Hide setting). In-app during the workout, you’ll also be able to choose from different music genres, as well as adjust the music-to-instructor volume ratio.

A man working out using the tempo move system.

When you pause a workout (by pressing the big Pause icon on your iPhone screen), your TV screen will show what your current circuit is, along with whatever forthcoming forms there are in the round of the workout you’re currently training in. All of this information is also displayed on your phone screen right before you launch the actual workout.

In my 25 Minute Full Body Build and 35 Minute Strength Training courses, it was nice to have the required weights displayed onscreen. In both exercises, the Move had a tough time keeping track of my reps though. While there were a few times I stepped out of the mat-zone, when I was nailing the form (or as close to nailing as possible) on the mat, the Move still wouldn’t count my reps or track my pacing.

Looking into things later, I found out this probably wasn’t a glitch. Indeed, the Move does not track reps, pace, and offer form correction for all exercises. A bit of a bummer, but I guess interactive feedback is offered on enough workouts to make this not such a big deal.

Price and warranty

Right now, Tempo is offering a solid discount on the Move. Normally, the Tempo Move package sells for $500 but Tempo is currently knocking $100 off the retail price. So, for $400, you get a solid workout package, a versatile storage cabinet, and a three-year warranty.

There’s more money to be spent though. The Tempo Move requires a Tempo subscription, which after the 30-day free trial, is going to run you $40 a month. All things considered — including the massive assortment of classes, fitness customizations, and support for up to six individual users — this isn’t a bad monthly premium, in our opinion.

Our take

If you’re looking for an all-immersive, at-home workout experience for a decent price, the Tempo Move is a fantastic bundle that we definitely recommend. While you may not get the exact same experience as you would by using the company’s higher-priced Studio hardware (or equally-priced competitive workout equipment), the Move effectively pushes the power of your iPhone to the next level.

Fitness tracking is on point, the workouts are bountiful, and the sky is the limit for new features to be added. True, it’s no fun that Android devotees can’t play along too. But if you’ve got a fairly new iPhone and a little cash to spare, both upfront and month-to-month, the Tempo Move is the perfect way to get your reps up in the comfort of your living room, bedroom, or basement gym.

How long will it last?

With the Tempo Move you’re only relying on two pieces of equipment to keep your workouts powered. There’s the Tempo Core, which is covered by Tempo’s three-year warranty, and whichever iPhone you’re using for the Tempo app. That being said, we’re betting you’ll get a number of successful years from the Core module, with performance only improving as app updates roll through.

In fact, Tempo already has plans to utilize more advanced hardware features of the later iPhone models, so you can expect improvements and new features for the foreseeable future.

Is there a better alternative?

If you want a more robust platform, Tempo’s higher-priced Studio ($1,995) includes an interactive touchscreen that doubles as a workout mirror. Negating your iPhone, everything you would use the Tempo app for is built right into the display. And don’t forget: The Studio includes live classes (the Move doesn’t.)

As far as an alternative that matches the price of the Move, we’re having a tough time thinking of one. At-home fitness gear typically runs for thousands of dollars, on top of whatever monthly subscription you have to factor in.

Should you buy it?

Absolutely. The Tempo Move offers an incredible workout experience by way of some solid equipment and an intuitive companion app.

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